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International Network on Biotechnology (INB)

Second Network Partners Meeting

Palais des Nations, Geneva, 6 September 2018. On 5-6 September 2018, UNICRI, in cooperation with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), held the 2nd INB Network Partners Meeting at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva. The partners participating in the meeting represented universities and research institutes from 9 countries and several international organizations, including the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The meeting provided an occasion to update participants about recent developments related to the INB, including its expansion through the addition of new partners from Argentina, China, Japan and Switzerland. This expansion was identified as an indicator of the increasing relevance of INB as an international platform for sharing knowledge and building connections, to promote responsible life science education.

The meeting also presented an opportunity to officially launch the INB digital navigation platform, which hosts a range of educational resources covering subject areas of biosafety, biosecurity and bioethics. Co-developed by UNICRI and the network partners, these resources include case-studies and scenario-based videos in multiple languages, immersive 360° lab-tours, technology briefs and e-learning modules dedicated to emerging and future risks.

After an in-depth review of the resources currently available on the platform, participating network partners identified a number of strengths, including the appeal of digital formats (e.g. videos and VR) to younger audiences, who are constantly attached to screens. It was equally noted that the online modules offer teachers the flexibility to easily integrate INB content into existing lesson plans or to use these modules as building blocks to construct new courses and curricula.

The meeting concluded with network partners expressing their renewed commitment to the initiative and identifying several concrete actions for the coming year. These included, inter alia, the establishment of working groups to develop and review new materials and showcasing INB content at international forums to raise visibility for the INB and its activities.

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